All rented homes today must have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) by law. By the same token, anyone selling their home must also be able to show potential buyers what the energy efficiency rating of the property is.
UK homes are graded on a scale of A to G, with A being the most energy-efficient and G the least. The majority of properties today sit in the middle, around the D band.
EPC also indicates potential savings
As well as telling you the energy rating of a property, the EPC can indicate how much energy is used and therefore what the costs to run it will be. The four-page report will also give recommendations for how to make the property more energy-efficient and what the ongoing energy usage would be were the suggestions to be implemented. This can be seen on the EPC report in the group of numbers next to the rating letter (i.e A to G). The first two arrows indicate the current rating and the next two arrows indicate its future rating were the changes to be made.
EPCs have actually been around since 2008 in England. To get an EPC for a property you need to get a professional energy assessor round to do a physical survey of your home. A list of assessors can be found on the government’s EPC register.
Cost of an EPC
The cost of an EPC varies from £35 up to £120, depending on your geographical location. In Norfolk you can expect to pay around £36 for one. The good news is once you get your EPC you have 10 years before you need to get a new one.
Landlords and rental property EPC ratings
As well as having an EPC in the first place, landlords must be careful to ensure their properties receive an energy efficiency rating of at least E. Anything lower and the law states they can’t let it to a tenant. By 2030 the government has pledged that all rented homes will be grade C or higher.
Landlords can get an exemption if it’s going to cost them more than £3,500 to get to a band E rating. But they must still apply in the first place, otherwise they could be looking at a fine of up to £4,000.
When a tenant moves into a property they must always be shown the EPC as part of their moving in documents. Failing to get a certificate for a residential property isn’t an option and can lead to a fine of up to £200, regardless of what the property’s energy rating is.
How to improve your property’s energy efficiency rating
Make sure you have plenty of insulation – in your loft, walls, floor and roof
Install solar panels to reduce reliance on utilities
LED bulbs last longer and use less power than traditional lighting
Get double glazing installed to help retain heat
@edfenergy: “Improving your EPC means improving your home's energy efficiency. It also means you could reduce your energy bills, make your home warmer and more comfortable and increase its value and reduce your carbon footprint.”